Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the Security Council meeting on Threats to International Peace and Security – Ukraine

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July 11, 2023

Mr. President,

The quick version of our statement today would have been a reference to our last statement on this issue, a week or so ago, since there is nothing new on the matter.

Being here, I would like to make the following points:

First, we have said it many times and we reiterate it again: we have been and are deeply concerned by an apparent act of sabotage on the pipelines North Stream 1 and 2, in the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden, in the Baltic Sea.

Such acts are unacceptable.

We reiterate our full support for the investigations initiated by the national authorities of Denmark, Germany, and Sweden to determine the origin of the damage and the possible perpetrators.

We welcome their joint letter of yesterday indicating that the investigation is underway, and we have full confidence in its objectiveness and comprehensiveness.

The three countries that are carrying the investigations have strong judicial institutions and unquestionable records on the rule of law.

Second, this is the third SC meeting on the issue zealously called by Russia within less than one month.

It is obvious that such investigation processes are complex and need time. In the meantime, Internet is full of all kind of information, dis and misinformation including colorful theories advanced by dependent and independent journalists, especially by many who have the luxury to use their freedom as they wish.

We all want to see the findings but we must be patient and wait for the ongoing investigation’s conclusions.

Therefore, bringing this discussion incessantly in the agenda of the SC equals more to a political pressure and a maneuver to divert attention from other issues.

The politicization of the investigation process and the artificial pressure on it by the heated rhetoric do not help to expedite the process.

Third, while we all want to know the truth on the acts of sabotage, the obsession in singling out this one issue is both cynical and preposterous at a time when for more than 500 days Russia has been waging an unjustified, aggressive and merciless war on its neighbor with devastating human and economic consequences.

Today, like every year on 11 of July, we commemorate the Srebrenica genocide. The scale and depravity of this tragedy continue to burdens our souls twenty-eight years later.

I mention it not only because it deserves commemoration with humbleness, but also because it happened during the last war in Europe, and we have committed to never let those tragic events repeat.

And this is why I insist, that when it comes to the question of war in Ukraine, there are far more important and consequential questions that need and should have our attention on a daily basis, such as:

– the killing of more than 9,000 innocent civilians including 500 children;

– the whole range of the despicable crimes committed by the Russian Army

– the deliberate destruction of residential areas by waives of illegally acquired Iranian kamikaze drones;

– the thousands of Ukrainian children forcefully deported in Russia and given for adoption;

– the frightening magnitude and cost of deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure and the decimation of economy in Ukraine.

A joint assessment of the United Nations, World Bank Group, European Commission, and the Government of Ukraine, estimates that the cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine has grown to US $411 billion. The report finds that direct damages to buildings and infrastructure amounts to more than 135 billion US dollars and the most affected areas are housing, transport, energy, commerce and industry, and agriculture, otherwise the backbone of the economy.

That was last month. The cost of war, including for Russia itself, increases every hour, every day.

Therefore, and this will by my final point, instead of calling for meetings on the Nord Stream pipeline and wasting Council’s time in futile politicization of an ongoing investigation process, Russia could be more useful and productive if it would put an end to the war in Ukraine and seriously engage in diplomacy by starting with the complete withdrawal of its troops from the territory of Ukraine.

Thank you!

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